Denver police officers keep an eye on people as they leave the 4/20 Rally at Civic Center. (Seth McConnell, The Denver Post)

Police vet resigns amid investigation into his off-duty work in pot business

A veteran Denver police officer has resigned amid an internal investigation into allegations that he provided security services to a marijuana business.

Officer Lewis Padilla, who joined the Denver Police Department in 1994, resigned Wednesday.

“He resigned during an ongoing internal investigation,” said Sonny Jackson, a department spokesman.

An internal complaint was filed on Oct. 2, 2015, regarding Padilla’s alleged operation of a “business in violation of department policies and municipal ordinances.”

The complaint came to light Sept. 23, 2015, when a Denver detective inspecting a legal marijuana cultivation operation encountered two security guards who told the detective that they worked for Padilla, according to police investigative documents.

Working for marijuana businesses is in violation of the department’s off-duty employment policies.

The case against Padilla alleges that he “allowed individuals convicted of felonies” to use an unmarked, licensed Crown Victoria police car equipped with red and blue lights.

Padilla also allegedly failed to secure required licenses for his security business and he allegedly hired guards who did not possess necessary licenses.

The internal complaint states: Padilla “allegedly operated a business in violation of department policies and municipal ordinances.”

Kieran Nicholson: 303-954-1822, or @kierannicholson

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